Theater News

Intiman Theatre Tackles Sex, Race, Politics, and Money in 2013

The once-beleaguered local theater will return next year with its second summer festival.

By Laura Dannen November 27, 2012

The cast of Miracle!, 2012.

There may be some fight left in Intiman after all. Following the buzz of its first-ever summer festival this year, the local theater plans to return next June with another four plays in repertory: a mix of classics, comedies, and a new musical based on the true story of America's first transgender mayor.

"Next summer's festival will include productions that revolve around the topics polite people don't talk about at dinner: race, sex, politics, and money," artistic director Andrew Russell said in an announcement today. Polite Seattle, be forewarned.

Intiman’s story could have been its own tragedy: A Tony-winning regional theater spends too big and faces financial collapse. But instead, it’s full of surprises. First, Intiman was reborn this year as a repertory company and condensed its season to a summer festival. Then, it delivered two classics with innovative twists (Romeo and Juliet, Hedda Gabler), a challenging/disturbing satire (Dirty Story) in a new studio space, and Dan Savage's drag parody of The Miracle Worker that was hilarious "against all odds," as one patron put it.

On the calendar for 2013:

  • Trouble In Mind Valerie Curtis-Newton, who directed Intiman's Dirty Story and All My Sons, returns to direct Alice Childress' Obie-winning 1957 dramedy about a racially integrated acting company rehearsing an anti-lynching play.
  • Lysistrata Many have reimagined Aristophanes' story about wives going on a sex strike to compel their husbands to stop the Peloponnesian War. Now director Sheila Daniels, who's done great things for both Intiman and Seattle Shakespeare Company, gets to experiment in Intiman's intimate studio space.
  • We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! This political farce about a housewives' revolt at a local grocery store is one of the most famous plays by Nobel Prize-winning satirist Dario Fo (Accidential Death of an Anarchist). For this production, clowning/physical theatre pro Jane Nichols conducts the mayhem.
  • Stu for Silverton When was the last time Intiman staged a musical, let alone a new production about America's first transgender mayor? "It's what might happen if you put Our Town and The Rocky Horror Picture Show in a blender," says the theater. The story of Stu Rasmussen—elected mayor of Silverton, Oregon, in 2008—unfolds courtesy of Peter Duchan (book) and director Andrew Russell, with music and lyrics by New York songwriter and Lady Gaga collaborator Breedlove.

Intiman is in the process of casting this season's repertory company for the festival's run, June 22–September 15. Tickets go on sale in February. In the meantime, the theater continues to pay down its commercial debt—half remains, according to board president Terry Jones—and will only stage the summer festival if the funds to cover production can be raised in advance. They're taking donations at

Intiman Theatre Festival
June 22–September 15, 2013

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